More than 300 small women entrepreneurs in Lilambo, Lundusi and Peramiho in Ruvuma are set to be empowered with cheap credit program without interest securities under supervision of M-PESA Women Empowerment Initiative (MWEI) Vodacom Foundation.

According to Vodacom, majority of the women targeted who most of them are involved in small businesses will also benefit from getting entrepreneurship trainings offered under the sponsorship of Vodacom Foundation.

The project manager, Mwamvua Mlangwa, said that the process of empowering women has already started in collaboration with the relevant regions and villages.

“We have set effective strategies to reach more women in the period of 2013/2014. We want to see greater success in changing the lives of rural women. This is after the program continues to show more progress in empowering rural women's economic recovery,” Mwamvua stated.

She further said that the loyalty demonstrated by women in the credit recovery is a treasure to enable the program grows more and reach women who do not meet minimum requirements and criteria for accessing loans from financial institutions.

“You can see that our credit does not have interest or securities, it’s a project-based over the credibility of women in restoring loans. This is what had been shown since the program was established in 2010. This situation has made the program be sustainable and continue to exist in Vodacom Foundation programs,” added Mwamvua.

She also noted that the loan repayment rate is amounting to 99 percent from between Tsh 50,000 to Tsh 200,000 per person.

Mwamvua added that the villagers who will benefit from the credit will help to dramatically change the nature of the family lives, the people around them in the areas they live as the establishment of businesses or expansion of business for those who already possess it will be led to the creation of employment opportunities.

She also noted that the aim of empowering women comes from the fact that a social group lagged behind economically due to various historical, cultural and even growth.

“Before coming up with this program, we seat and reflect the details of how we can help women, especially in rural areas who despite of having a deliberate effort to get rid of poverty alleviation they are facing several obstacles, the major one being access of capital,” Mwamvua said.

In the first quarter of Vodacom’s financial year ending July, Vodacom Foundation has planned to reach out to women in Ruvuma, Singida and Njombe.